Day 1: Vienna (embark)
Arrive at Vienna International Airport, where you will be transferred to the ship.
Day 2: Vienna
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Choice of Vienna city tour with Vienna State Opera OR exclusive “Vienna, City of Arts” tour See the city of imperial architectural marvels on a tour featuring the stately Ringstrasse lined by impressive buildings such as St. Stephen’s Cathedral. Visit the legendary opera house in the heart of the city. If you prefer to experience the sheer number of artistic gems, then partake in the “City of Arts” tour featuring a Gustav Klimt exhibit at the Belvedere, a remarkable collection that includes his most famous painting—The Kiss. Note: The Vienna State Opera House is occasionally closed to visitors for rehearsals or special events without advance notice. If we cannot visit the opera house, we will visit an alternative venue instead.
Day 3: Cruising the Wachau Valley, Weissenkirchen (Weissenkirchen or Melk)
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Choice of Weissenkirchen “Village Day” with exclusive guided “Let's Go” vineyard hike with wine tasting OR Melk Abbey with library visit Cruise through the UNESCO-designated Wachau Valley before arriving in Weissenkirchen. You have a choice of two equally enchanting excursions. Experience the fruits of the land at a tasting of apricot-infused delicacies and local wine and then hike through the storied vineyards and orchards. Alternatively, you may wish to experience Melk’s 900-year-old abbey, home to the extraordinary library that inspired the novel The Name of the Rose. A Captain’s Welcome Reception and Gala Dinner completes your day.
Day 4: Engelhartszell, Passau
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: A “trifecta" of choices to experience Passau—walking discovery tour OR city tour with old town walk OR exclusive guided “Let's Go” Bavarian river bike ride You have three ways to experience Passau—strolling with a guide through its medieval lanes lined with baroque buildings; taking a panoramic tour followed by a shorter walk through the heart of the charming city; or going active by cycling first along the Danube’s riverside bike path and ending in Passau’s Old Town.
Day 5: Deggendorf (Theresienthal), Straubing
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Choice of exclusive Bavarian Forest village with Theresienthal glass manufactory visit OR exclusive guided “Let's Go” bicycle ride along the Danube River, and Straubing, “A Day in Town” Deggendorf—gateway to the magical Bavarian Forest—awaits via a traditional horse-drawn wagon. En route to a Theresienthal glass manufactory, enjoy freshly baked bread and schnapps. If you’d like to be more active, bicycle along the Danube to Straubing, where you will meet up with your fellow travelers and have a choice between participating in a lively exploration of local brewing traditions or experiencing daily life in this enchanting town.
Day 6: Regensburg
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Choice of “2,000 Years in One Hour” Regensburg walking discovery tour OR Jewish Regensburg walking discovery tour OR BMW factory visit Discover Regensburg, one of Europe’s best-preserved medieval towns, whether walking through the cobbled lanes of the UNESCO-designated Old Town or exploring Germany’s oldest Jewish community. Should you wish to do something completely different, tour the state-of-the-art BMW factory. Note: If the tour lands on a day when the BMW factory is closed, we will visit the Audi factory instead. The Audi production line is closed on weekends, so if your visit is scheduled for a weekend, you will see the Audi museum instead.
Day 7: Cruising the Main-Danube Canal, Nuremberg
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Choice of Nuremberg city tour OR Nuremberg WWII historical tour with Documentation Center visitBefore docking in the medieval walled city of Nuremberg, your ship will traverse the most impressive section of one of the modern marvels of engineering, the Main-Danube Canal, a masterwork that allows ships to cruise from the North Sea all the way to the Black Sea. Partake in a tour of Nuremberg, enjoying Old Nuremberg. WWII history buffs may wish to go on a guided tour of significant WWII sites, including Courtroom 600, the venue for the historic Nuremberg trials. After a day of historical exploration, spend your last night on the ship with a Captain’s Farewell Reception and Gala Dinner. Note: Courtroom 600 is an active court. Visitors will only be permitted to see the courtroom during trial breaks.
Day 8: Nuremberg
Enjoy a day at leisure in Nuremberg to enjoy the sights.
Day 9: Erlangen (Nuremberg), Bamberg
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Nuremberg city tour and Bamberg walking discovery tour OR choice of Jewish Heritage Nuremberg WWII and Documentation Center visit OR exclusive guided “Let's Go” bicycle ride along the Main and Regnitz Choose how you wish to experience this area with either a tour of Nuremberg and Bamberg, or a visit to Nuremberg’s Documentation Center and Courtroom 600, where the famed Nuremberg trials took place. For a more active adventure, enjoy a bike ride along the Main and Regnitz rivers.
Day 10: Cruising the Main River, Würzburg (Rothenburg)
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Choice of the Romantic Road—medieval Rothenburg OR exclusive guided “Let's Go” Tauberhase vineyard hike and barbecue Travel along the “Romantic Road” to Germany’s best-preserved walled city, Rothenburg, with half-timbered houses and charming shops. For a more active adventure, hike through the Tauberhase vineyards and enjoy a barbecue lunch with Franconian wine.
Day 11: Würzburg, cruising the Main River
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Würzburg Residence and choice of Weikersheim “Village Day” OR exclusive guided “Let's Go” cycling through the romantic Tauber ValleyThe opulent Würzburg Residence, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, offers a true sense of the history of this region through the European Renaissance, containing the world’s largest ceiling fresco by Tiepolo. Later, visit Weikersheim, a dreamy village in the romantic Tauber Valley. Here, visit the “mini Versailles” palace along with its glorious baroque gardens. Be treated to a tasting of local wine and other regional products, or choose to enjoy a guided bike ride through the Tauber Valley.
Day 12: Miltenberg (Frankfurt, Wertheim), cruising the Main River
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Miltenberg walking discovery tour with exclusive “Village Day” and choice of Jewish Heritage, Frankfurt Jewish Museum & the legacy of the Rothschild family OR Jewish Wertheim Get a glimpse of village life in enchanting Miltenberg with a choice of excursions—meet an artist at her atelier, taste beer at a local brewery, try your hand at lawn bowling or visit a nearby family-owned vineyard. You may prefer to go to Frankfurt to learn more about its Jewish heritage, as well as visit the former palace of the Rothschild family, which is now home to the Jewish Museum, depicting how the community lived over the centuries. Alternatively, you can stroll through quaint Wertheim, where you’ll see commemorative reminders—embedded stones of the names of the victims from the Nazi regime; in fact, in 300 other places in Germany, you can see these reminders as well.
Day 13: Cruising the romantic Rhine River, Braubach
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Choice of Marksburg Castle visit OR exclusive guided “Let's Go” Marksburg Castle mountain hike Visit one of the only castles on the Rhine that has never been destroyed, Marksburg Castle. If you would like a more invigorating excursion, hike from Braubach through the mountains to the castle.
Day 14: Cologne
FEATURED EXCURSIONS: Cologne walking discovery tour with choice of Cologne Cathedral OR Kölsch beer tasting OR Museum Ludwig OR Jewish Heritage, Cologne’s Jewish Quarter You have an array of choices for how you wish to experience Cologne. Those interested in history and architecture will want to stroll with a local expert through Old Town to the UNESCO-designated Gothic Cologne Cathedral. Beer connoisseurs will want to go to a brewery to taste the traditional local brew of the city, Kölsch. Lovers of art won’t want to miss one of the most important contemporary museums in Europe, Museum Ludwig. And for those who wish for more exploration of Germany’s significant Jewish heritage, visit the oldest Jewish community in Europe north of the Alps. Cap your wonderful adventure off at the Captain’s Farewell Reception and Gala Dinner.
Day 15: Cologne (disembark), transfer to the airport
Disembark the ship and transfer to Cologne Bonn airport for your flight home.